Russian President Vladimir Putin survived an assassination attempt last March and is undergoing treatment for advanced cancer, according to a confidential US intelligence report.
High-ranking US intelligence leaders shared the report with Newsweek and describe the Russian leader as increasingly isolated, paranoid and fearful, as his reported struggles with health issues and internal dissent within Russia grow.
After the failed assassination attempt against him in March, Putin disappeared from the public eye for a period in April – when he was reportedly treated for advanced-stage cancer, the report claims.
“Putin’s grip is strong but no longer absolute,” one of the senior intelligence officers involved with the reports explained. “The jockeying inside the Kremlin has never been more intense during his rule, everyone sensing that the end is near.”
Looming health questions
Putin has been the subject of speculation about his health since at least 2016, when independent Russian media outlet Proekt reported that Putin traveled with a team of 5-13 doctors at all times from 2016 to 2017, such as an ENT specialist, an infectious diseases specialist, and a neurosurgeon.